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When WBTV News of Charlotte Tweeted “LIVE NOW: Protesters on I-277 stopping traffic and surrounding vehicles. AVOID. Watch live » http://3wb.tv/1TGw8DS #KeithLamontScott”, @Instapundit, aka Glenn Reynolds responded, “Run them down.”
For that Reynolds was banned from free-speech loving twitter for a day. And it got worse. He was then suspended for one month by USA Today, which runs his twice-weekly column.
Reynolds works as a law professor at the University of Tennessee and publishes the Instapundit news aggregator and comment sheet.
The Dean of the University of Tennessee College of Law Melanie D. Wilson says: “Professor Reynolds has built a significant platform to discuss his viewpoints, but his remarks on Twitter are an irresponsible use of his platform…. The university is committed to academic freedom, freedom of speech, and diverse viewpoints, all of which are important for an institution of higher education and the free exchange of ideas. My colleagues and I in the university’s leadership support peaceful disobedience and all forms of free speech, but we do not support violence or language that encourages violence.”
Did he encourage violence? Would anyone sane who follows Instapundit see the tweet and be inspired to run someone down?
Twitter has a pretty low view of its users if it thinks they can be driven to commit violent acts in just 13 characters (including spaces). And does Tennessee College of Law really think Reynolds was advocating violence?
The tweet was snappy, a tad glib and, well, a tweet. The great American tweet has yet to be written. In the meanwhile, millions struggle to make a defining comment in 140 characters or less. The trouble is that in the current climate of ‘You can’t say that’ one tweet can be held up as something that defines you. The twitter mob love a twitter hunt. One tweet can ruin you.
Free speech needs context. Reynolds is no rabble-rouser bent on civil disobedience and violence. But stripped of context, a three-word tweet can be corrupted to reveal something essential about the tweeter and the banner. If you agree with it, then you’re a right-wing loon. Disagree with it and the tweet signals your virtue. You can get a T-shirt bearing the message: “Deliberately killing innocent people with a car is WRONG.” Honk twice is you agree. Don’t bother honking if you don’t (it’ll only warn them that you’re coming).
The backdrop to these tweets and their fallout is the death of Keith L. Scott, a 43-year-old black man shot dead by police officer outside an apartment complex.
It’s a highly sensitive subject. Was the victim armed? Are the police institutionally racist?
Do these questions scare twitter, the Press and the universities? If the subject is big enough, do the aforesaid champions of free speech start advocating a need for censorship, slapping a big ‘but’ after ‘I believe in free speech…”? Yes. It sure looks that way.
Reynolds has explained his position: “Sorry, blocking the interstate is dangerous, and trapping people in their cars is a threat. Driving on is self-preservation, especially when we’ve had mobs destroying property and injuring and killing people. But if Twitter doesn’t like me, I’m happy to stop providing them with free content.”
He says he removed the offending tweet “so that I can tweet my response to this affair. But once that’s over, I intend to shut it down. I don’t see why I should provide content to a platform that will shut me down without notice.”
The USA Today ban hurts more. That gig pays. Reynolds apologised to the paper’s readers. He explained some more, saying automobiles in a riot should keep driving, in order to ensure driver safety. “What I meant is that drivers who feel their lives are in danger from a violent mob should not stop their vehicles,” he said. “I remember Reginald Denny, a truck driver who was beaten nearly to death by a mob during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. My tweet should have said, ‘Keep driving,’ or ‘Don’t stop.’”
Two words beats three. On twitter, brevity rules. Play it safe and say nothing.
Reynolds explained some more: “But riots aren’t peaceful protest. And blocking interstates and trapping people in their cars is not peaceful protest – it’s threatening and dangerous, especially against the background of people rioting, cops being injured, civilian-on-civilian shootings, and so on. I wouldn’t actually aim for people blocking the road, but I wouldn’t stop because I’d fear for my safety, as I think any reasonable person would.”
That’s the run down.
It’d been looking iffy for a while. We at Anorak were not the first to notice that MODE media were not the best payers. They routinely paid 90-120 days. MODE got the money into their bank accounts, used it for a while and then paid the bloggers who hosted their ads, typically on a 50-50 split (after their company costs have been paid for).
Now MODE has gone bust. Bloggers – people from all walks of life and businesses – have been creamed.
Putting a lot of energy into building a readership and letting MODE take first dibs at getting ads in front of those readers’ eyes was a mugs’ game.
Bloggers have been told nothing since the company abruptly ceased training last week. Your money has sat in MODE’s bank accounts while their directors and owners knew the company was in peril. All the while they let everyone carry on working to keep their side of the bargain and said nothing.
Those contracts MODE made bloggers stick to – the ones that commanded their ads to be shows only above the fold and before all others – are worthless.
For online publishers who depend on page views to sell advertising against, MODE have pulled a fast one. We wrote the copy, built audiences and they sold the ads. It was a two-way reciprocal arrangement. We also advertised their company – contracts stipulate bloggers must slap MODE’s log on their sites.
And then they shafted us.
We, like many others, simply can’t afford to lose the money MODE owe us.
We can sympathise with the perils of business. But MODE are cowards. A visit to the company’s website, MODE.com, reveals nothing.
Disgusting. Talk is that MODE also screwed their workers.
We and hundreds if not thousands of others who bought into MODE’s business want our money.
Do you find golliwogs offensive? The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) does. It’s banned the Ginger Pop store’s advert featuring a golliwog holding a glass of ginger bear. The golliwog has caused “serious or widespread offence”.
The Ginger Pop store is housed in Dorset, just by the foot of what remains of the 11th century Corfe Castle. Store owner Viv Endecott had covered the window of her shop with golliwog-themed tea towels she had designed. The tea towels were inspired by author Enid Blyton, who was partial to a golliwog and had visited Dorset.
The towels feature a thirsty golliwog in the centre surrounded by slogans: “freedom of speech”, “political correctness gone mad” and “English Freedom”.
Adnan Choudry, chief officer of Dorset Race Equality Council, opines:
“Golliwogs don’t just offend black people, they’re offensive to people of any race. People used them as a means to abuse black people in the 1970s and 1980s – people still remember those days. I thought we had all moved on but obviously not. I have had dealings with her in the past – I have told her my opinion, that they should not be sold, but goes on selling them.”
It boils down to a difference of opinion.
One side says golliwogs are dolls, and therefore incapable of thought and racism. Children, for whom they are intended, see them as cheery dolls and are blissfully unaware of their controversial nature.
But to say the golliwog has no racial connection is as ridiculous as it is monocular and thick-headed. When Florence Kate Upton debuted the ‘Golliwogg’ in a 1895 book, she called him “a horrid sight, the blackest gnome”. Enid Blyton’s Gollywogs were called Golly, Woggy and Nigger. They ambled around the place “arm-in-arm, singing merrily their favourite song – which, as you may guess, was Ten Little Nigger Boys”. Enid’s Noddy character was once mugged by golliwogs, who nick his car.
In 1939, the cover of Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Niggers portrayed a golliwog hanging from a tree.
Should golliwogs be banned? No. Of course not. You could try to ban them, just as you might ban people who dress up as Nazis to relax and teach their dogs to salute whenever they hear the word ‘Hitler’.
Forget these loons and fantasists. Let people who shop for novelty tea towels in 1950s-themed ‘shoppes’ deal with them whilst the rest of us with our mechanised dishwashers get on with more vital issues, like discussing Jose Mourinho’s coat and Prince Harry’s sex life.
Paul Gascoigne is not in the best of health. This we know because the tabloids love to feature Gazza in various stages of trouble. He’s back in the news for the criminal offence of telling a joke. At Dudley Magistrates Court, the former England footballer’s joke was appraised. It was found wanting. Gascoigne was deemed guilty of using ‘”threatening or abusive words”. Those words also cost him a £2,000 fine.
By now you all want to know what Gascoigne said. What does a £2000 joke look like? At An Evening With Gazza at Wolverhampton Civic Hall last year, the show’s eponymous star told a black security guard, Errol Rowe: “Can you smile please, because I can’t see you?”
Anyone heading to an evening with Gascoigne, a man who seemed to run on nervous energy, is unlikely to attend expecting a night of coherent thought and incisive wit. Nonetheless, District Judge Graham Wilkinson was outraged, telling Gazza, “it is not acceptable to laugh words like this off as some form of joke… We live in the 21st century — grow up with it or keep your mouth closed.”
The 21st Century looks a a draconian place. Gascoigne’s joke was sad, weak and, worst of all, unfunny. And that’s crucial to the crime. The advice is that if you’re unsure of what is and what is not acceptable to the state, you should not speak. You should censor yourself lest you cause the State to be offended.
And take care not to be famous and unfunny. Wilkinson told Gascoigne that his punishment is a warning to us all. “A message needs to be sent that in the 21st century,” said the Beak, “such words will not be tolerated.”
Intolerance will not be tolerated. How’s that for freedom?
PS: If you want to look for racism. you can find in a pathetic joke, if you want. But what about in the judiciary? Wilkinson told Gazza: “”It is the creeping ‘low-level’ racism that society still needs to challenge.” And what about the institutional racism?
Dame Linda Dobbs opines:
The Sun bring news of “Maddie Hope”. What hope? The Sun tells us: “Madeleine McCann fund given £100k of government money to keep search alive until April.” That word “alive” is an odd choice. Why not ‘going’?
The paper notes that the police hunt “has already cost taxpayers millions”. So is £100 enough – or too much? When should the money end. If £12m has been spent on the hunt so far, why stop now?
The Star adds that this cash means the search can continue until April 2017. Madeleine McCann vanished in May 2007. It’s pretty safe to expect lots of news about the child one month after the police’s latest budget runs out – unless, of course, she has been found before then.
We then hear of the family fund. The Star says more than £4.2m has been donated to Madeleine’s Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned Ltd since its launch 12 days after she vanished in May 2007. Unnamed sources says there is “as little as” £480,000 left. If £100,000 buys six-months of police work, surely nearly five times that sum is enough for private detectives to look for the child for the next five years?
Yes, maybe. But the fund’s money has been earmarked for other causes. “The McCanns face paying £434,000 to ex-Portuguese police chief Goncalo Amaral’s lawyers after losing their libel action against him,” says the Star, “which would leave less than £50,000 in the coffers.”
That libel action was always fraught with danger.
Maybe the McCanns can raise funds from their daughter’s appearance on TV shows. E! has rather tasteless article entitled: “Nancy Grace’s 10 Most Captivating Cases: Casey Anthony, Jodi Arias and More Crime Stories We Couldn’t Stop Watching.” In the Top Ten grim stories about loss, murder and death, the entertainment broadcaster includes Madeleine McCann.
From a bit sick to depraved. Australian news tells us, “A convicted paedophile has been convicted of producing child pornography material after he was caught scrawling notes on his prison cell wall and writing stories about missing children William Tyrrell and Madeleine McCann.” Sick stuff. But a crime? Did he abuse children or just think about abusing children? If you can be convicted for drawing revolting images and writing nasty stories, can you be convicted of thinking things you don’t put down on paper?
A Tasmanian man who wrote fictitious stories in prison about the fate of high-profile missing children William Tyrell and Madeleine McCann has pleaded guilty to producing child exploitation material.
Can you tell the difference between fact and fiction?
Sonny Day, 60, pleaded guilty after he was caught writing about the sexual activity of children on the walls of his prison cell, under a desk and on paper. He was convicted of accessing, transmitting and possessing child pornography in 2014 after being jailed for similar offences in 2011.
Writing things is a crime in Australia.
Meanwhile, in the world of non-fiction, Madeleine McCann is still missing.
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt will end their marriage of a whole 2 years and being together since 2004. Divorce has been triggered. She wants sole physical custody of all the couple’s collection of children – 6 of them.
The media is filled with weeping and wailing among the couple’s fans. How can the love of its age be broken by, in Angelina’s words, “irreconcilable differences”? Brangelina were the media match made in portmanteau heaven. What were the differences? Did one of them think By The Sea was great movie – a good movie?
TMZ dishes some dirt:
Sources connected with the couple tell us… Angelina’s decision to file has to do with the way Brad was parenting the children… she was extremely upset with his methods.
Our sources say, Angelina became “fed up” with Brad’s consumption of weed and possibly alcohol, and mixed with what she believes is “an anger problem” became dangerous for the children.
We’re told there was no alleged “third person”… her decision to file was solely over Brad’s interaction with their children.
InTouch Weekly says Brad’s a great dad and will petition for custody of the children.
The Sun says: “ANGELINA ‘HAS PUT KIDS IN DANGER’ ‘Furious’ Brad Pitt hits back at claims over anger and alcohol issues and ‘blasts Angelina for putting kids in firing line in bitter divorce’”
Will things get nasty? Will Brad get the kids or be forced to find 6 other children to fill the void? If he does, will their be auditions?
Expect lots more on this.
Artist Craig Ward took sterilized sponges onto the New York sUbway system. He was looking for life invisible to the naked eye. He pressed the swabs into agar plates and incubated them in his Brooklyn studio.
“Over the summer of 2015, I rode the trains of each of New York City’s twenty-two subway lines, collecting bacterial samples from hand rails, seats and other high traffic surfaces in an attempt to create an unconventional series of portraits of the city’s complex eco-system and a snapshot of the city at large,” says Craig. “The resulting images are a portrait of the complex microcosm that each of us contribute to and are a part of.”
“When you hold onto the handrail it’s like you’re shaking hands with a hundred people at the same time.”
“You look at the subway and it’s all just different shapes and sizes and colours of people and you look at it at a microscopic level and it’s all just different shapes and sizes and colors of bacterial colonies,” Ward tells Bernstein & Andriulli. “It’s a nice kind of portrait of the city on a very small scale.”
Among the bugs are strains of E. coli, serratia marcescens, proteus mirabilis and salmonella.
You can buy Craig’s work here.
Following Chelsea’s home defeat to Liverpool in the Premier League, the BBC says Blues’ manager Antonio Conte “subjected his players to an angry dressing-down”. Conte “accused his players of failing to play as a team.”
The Times says Conte read the “riot act to his players after the Liverpool loss”. He and the team took part in “an animated post-match exchange in the dressing room”.
But Conte is no Jose Mourinho, the former Chelsea coach who explained his Manchester Untied’s 3-1 defeat to Watford by blaming the players publicly. “Some individuals probably feel the pressure and responsibility too much,” said Mourinho. We started the season very well… I was completely aware that we were not perfect, with lots of players who are not end products and can make their own mistakes.”
And after Manchester United lost to Manchester City, Mourinho was pointing the finger:
“I had two or three players in the first half that, if I know what is going to happen, I don’t play them. This is football, though, and sometimes players disappoint managers.”
Compare and contrast to Conte who told the Chelsea FC website:
“I’m guilty because I’m the coach and it means I have to work more. We must feel the danger in every single moment of the game if we want to win and think like a great team. We must pay attention and be focused.”
Is it better to criticise your team in public or in private?
Matthew Syed notes:
“When pilots experience a near-miss with another aircraft, or have been flying at the wrong altitude, they file a report. Providing that it is submitted within 10 days, they enjoy immunity…Openness and learning rather than blaming is the instinctive response – and system safety has been the greatest beneficiary.”
Conte the pilot?
“Contrast that with the healthcare scene, in which mistakes are very threatening to surgeons who have big egos, and the culture is very litigious – preventable medical error is now the third-biggest killer in western countries.”
Mourinho the surgeon?
“We love to think of ourselves as smart people, so we find mistakes, failure and sub-optimal outcomes challenging to our egos.”
We love to look around for someone else to blame. But the smart listen to advice, look at the data and learn not to repeat mistakes.
Thrashed 5-1 by Glasgow Celtic in the Old Firm match, Glasgow Rangers wanted to regroup. So the club’s “marquee signing” (source: BBC) Joey Barton thought it an idea to engage in “some sharp disagreement” with team-mate Andy Halliday.
“Some of the things I said were inappropriate and for that I apologise unreservedly,” Barton, 34, tweeted.
Nonetheless, his manager, Mark Warburton, thought it best for Barton to stay away from training until Monday.
You might think Barton should not say any more, go off an fight in a Nando’s, text pictures of his bellend to aspiring models or engage in some other sad hobby mainstream media trolls thinks all footballers do when away from the pitch. But he can’t help himself. He talks. Having apologised unreservedly, he then reserved the right to review his apology:
“I regret what happened and on Monday I will report for training and I will do what it takes to help the team draw a line under it so that we can get back to the task at hand.”
Draw a line. Move on. Not quite. On he went, adding a sympathetic backstory to his unreserved apology:
“I cannot, however, apologise for caring deeply about winning and for wanting to perform better myself and for Rangers to do much better.”
He then added a non-denial denial:
“Apologising doesn’t always mean that you’re wrong and the other person is right. It means you value your relationship more than your ego.”
All befitting a man who once tweeted: “In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act. George Orwell.”
We love it, don’t we. As Barton said:
“I’ve made mistakes, but I’ve dealt with them. I’ll tell you one thing I am proud of; when I’m finished I’ll be able to look back at my career and know that I was never this media-hyped ponce who was manufactured.”
Media training be damned!
The Half Moon pub in London’s Herne Hill has banned the following people. Santero tweeted the list, says“… it’s like a Guy Ritchie casting call.” I have to agree.
To Russian, where a seven-year-old boy is looking for his lost cat. It’s a big cat. It’s a lion, albeit a cub.
Happily, a local in the city of Ufa spotted the lion and managed to tie it to a fence.
The father of the boy, who had been given the cub for his birthday, says Shere Khan escaped after being taken for a vaccination.
“When we arrived [home], we gasped – the lion was not in the car,” he said.
Local news says, “The cub has a huge territory of 40 hectares to explore and is not alone, as the family also has horses, rabbits and a peafowl” – although in time the peafowl, rabbits and horses may well make even more room for a hungry lion.
Facebook has a tricky relationship with censoring images. It recently censored a drawing of a human hand and banned Stephen Ellcock, who’d posted the image. But how do we stand of pictures of naked children?
Facebook’s boss Mark Zuckerberg has been accused of “abusing power” after Facebook deleted pictures of 9-year-old Kim Phúc, aka ‘Napalm Girl’, one subject in Terror of War, a Pulitzer prize-winning photograph by Nick Ut that showed children fleeing a napalm attack during the Vietnam war.
Norwegian Tom Egeland had posted the picture on Facebook as part of a wider debate on “seven photographs that changed the history of warfare”.
Espen Egil Hansen, the editor-in-chief and CEO of Norway’s Aftenposten, newspaper has used his organ’s front page to accuse Zuckerberg of “abusing your power”, adding:
“I am worried that the world’s most important medium is limiting freedom instead of trying to extend it, and that this occasionally happens in an authoritarian way.”
Egeland’s post earned him a one-month suspension from Facebook. Aftenposten posted the news on its Facebook page, including the offending photo. It received the warning:
“Any photographs of people displaying fully nude genitalia or buttocks, or fully nude female breast, will be removed.”
Facebook is a website – a very large one, but, nonetheless a website. You can post the picture on your own website if you like.
What Facebook should mind is that it’s dull. It thinks a startling picture of the pain and horror of war is too strong for its delicate readers. It thinks you might get sexually aroused by the image. Facebook has a pretty low view of its customers.
And what goes for pictures goes for words, too. At a 2016 event in Berlin, Zuckenberg vowed to work closer with the German police and look out for victims. “Hate speech has no place on Facebook or in our community,” he said, declining to explain what hate speech is and who gets to decide what is and what is not offensive. He expanded on his view of “protected groups”, saying that Facebook will “now include hate speech against migrants as an important part of what we just now have no tolerance for… Until recently in Germany I don’t think we were doing a good enough job, and I think we will continue needing to do a better and better job.”
Protect migrants seeking better lives in countries where they can think and speak freely by censoring people in those countries from doing just that, banning the natives from doing the very things that make those places desirable to the oppressed. Got it?
That’s the viewpoint from the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company like Facebook.
If you can be banned from Facebook for publishing a picture of a hand or a crying child, can you be banned for calling for a wall to be built between the USA and Mexico, saying ‘White Men Can’t Jump’, or stating that Nickelback fans are deluded?
Facebook is founded on human-to-human communication.
If you stymie that, the site loses its way. It becomes a safe space where only big corporations that play ball (and pay Facebook’s exorbitant fees to reach all of their own readers who ‘like’ their pages) show up on timelines. Then people will go elsewhere to talk freely and air an opinion.
Given the amount of time and effort we and many others have spent cultivating readers on Facebook – my own Flashbak page is soaring but not everyone who ‘liked’ it sees the thing – this is shaping up to be one of the biggest corporate pratfalls of all time.
UPDATE: Facebook will let this one go.
“Because of its status as an iconic image of historical importance, the value of permitting sharing outweighs the value of protecting the community by removal, so we have decided to reinstate the image on Facebook where we are aware it has been removed. It will take some time to adjust these systems but the photo should be available for sharing in the coming days. We are always looking to improve our policies to make sure they both promote free expression and keep our community safe.”
Protecting the community. Sheesh.
Liverpool have a new ‘official timing parter’. It’s a brand called Holler. This is how Holler announced the deal on their website:
Yeah, not a single wrist in sight. Odd that a brand specialising in watches would show three Liverpool players not wearing one between them.
Holler describes itself thus:
The Official Timing Partner of Liverpool FC.
Holler was born out of a long history of soul music originating in the 1960’s. Soul is a genre which combines different elements of gospel music and rhythm and blues.
And what is soul music without watches?
And they’re on Twitter. This was how @HollerFC account tweeted about Liverpool.
It looks like Holler announced the deal and then mocked Liverpool for their lack of league titles in recent years, praising Manchester United for good measure.
Like the time when Americans knew nothing about football…
NOTE: Is the @HollerFC account authentic? The Drum says:
…speculation around the legitimacy of the new Holler FC Twitter account in relation to the Holler brand has since circulated. However the @Holler_Soul twitter account, which has over 19,000 followers, had promoted the launch of the Holler FC division in its Twitter background page which read: “Coming soon at HollerFC.com”. This has since changed but a screenshot of the old background can be seen below.
Liverpool celebrate their last last league title win on April 28 1990.
When news broke that Claus Jorstad had got a testicle trapped in an IKEA stool, he laughed. “Haha, part of the story is a lie,” he tells Altaposten. “What is true and less true I won’t go into here.”
It was his penis that got trapped as he sat on the stool in the shower?
“I sat there and discovered all of a sudden that stool use could have unfortunate consequences for a man,” says Jorstad. “So decided to warn Ikea about what potentially could happen in future.”
Dr. Kevin Klauer, an E.R. doc based in Canton, Ohio, still remembers the day he dealt with a patient who was trying to fix his roof when he fell off and impaled himself on a shovel. You can see the shovel sticking out of what appears to be the rectal area. Even when you’ve seen a lot of bad injuries, this is really a cringe moment. Turning somebody to examine them while they have a shovel impaled in their rectum is not something anyone’s been trained to do. You have to work as a team.”
IKEA is not for everyone. Take care in there.
Claus Jørstad of Alta, Norway got his testicle trapped in a MARIUS Stool from IKEA. We mention the product’s name so that any masochists know which one to go for.
Claus was seated on his stool in the shower when one of his testicles got stuck in a hole on the seat. The story goes that hot water caused them to expand – not the holes; the nuts – and Claus was transformed into a Nordic-budget furniture hybrid.
“Sitting there and noticing the accident, I bent down to see what happened, I realized the little nutter has got stuck,” he tells the Daily Mail.
Happily, Claus eventually ran out of hot water and the cold stuff caused considerable shrinkage.
Elsewhere in IKEA:
You don’t have to like him to support his right to free speech. Ann Althouse gets it:
“ABC’s Nightline goes after Milo Yiannopoulos and I’ve never bothered with this guy one way or the other… but this ham-handed effort to cut him down made me side with him. Why is the ABC reporter sneering and yelling at the person he’s interviewing?”
The hectoring reporter makes anyone who values free speech side with Milo. We all value the right to be offensive, right?
PS: The Ghostbusters remake is crap.
The air is alive with insects. The wasp you saw was nothing. In the troposphere, there are billions of insects riding over your head. Take a look:
Keith Vaz MP is riding high on the news cycle. The Sunday Mirror has news on the Labour politician. It’s a story of sex, drugs and power. By way of a titter, the BBC notes: ‘Mr Vaz has been referred to in the media as the “Teflon” politician and “Vazeline” – because, in the words of the Telegraph, “nothing sticks”.’ The story is of gay sex with two male prostitutes, at leat one of whom is from Romania, allegedly.
The Mirror claims:
He is one of the most influential MPs in the House of Commons and is currently overseeing the biggest shake-up of Britain’s prostitution laws in a generation. But today the Sunday Mirror can reveal Keith Vaz, a married father of two, is leading a double life paying young male escorts for sex.
(As is alleged.)
Was he for or against legalised sex with prostitutes?
Mr Vaz last met two Eastern European prostitutes eight days ago, even though he is chair of a powerful parliamentary group probing vice and drugs. And as the talk ranged from sex to pets, Mr Vaz eventually said: “We need to get this party started.”
Pets? Richard Gere legend stuff? Dunno. But we’ve not seen Gordon the Gopher for a while, and you know how much Vaz loves celebs. But back to the story of sex for hire:
While chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Mr Vaz has publicly said he was “not convinced” that men who pay for sex should face prosecution.
“Treating soliciting as a criminal offence is having an adverse effect, and it is wrong that sex workers, who are predominantly women, should be penalised and stigmatised in this way. The criminalisation of sex workers should therefore end.”
Good. What consenting adults do with their bodies is not the State’s business.
In a 90-minute rendezvous on August 27, the former Minister for Europe offered to cover the cost of cocaine if it was brought to the flat – but said he did not want any himself. He is currently heading up the committee which has investigated harm caused by the illegal Class A drug.
Mr Vaz, Labour MP for Leicester East since 1987, also told the pair to bring along poppers – the sex-enhancing drug.
Cocaine? In 2009, Vaz said:
“As part of our investigation into the cocaine trade we want to explore the human cost of drug taking, particularly on users and their families. We are pleased Mitch Winehouse, the father of Amy, has agreed to share with us research for a documentary on the damaging effects of drug abuse and of the effectiveness of drug rehabilitation.”
A touch hypocritical, then? Maybe. There is no suggestion he took any illegal drugs. If adults want to take banned narcotics, well, that too is their own affair. Cocaine should be legal. If what’s alleged is true, Vaz is coming across as a liberal.
Vaz tells the Mail on Sunday:
“I am genuinely sorry for the hurt and distress that has been caused by my actions in particular to my wife and children. I will be informing the Committee on Tuesday of my intention to stand aside from chairing the sessions of the Committee with immediate effect.”
He then said in a statement:
“At this time I do not want there to be any distraction from the important work the Home Affairs Select Committee undertakes so well. Select Committees do vital work in holding the government and others to account. We are due to publish two Reports, one into Anti Semitism and the other into FGM in the next few days, in addition we have a number of key witnesses.
“I will of course inform Committee members first of my plans when we meet on Tuesday.
“My decision has been based entirely on what is in the best interests of the Committee which I have had the privilege of Chairing for the last 9 years.”
Got that? Vaz has stepped down from a committee looking into sex and drugs because it’s alleged he might know about them.
Like you we are shocked and appalled (surely, sniggering and gossiping – ed). After all, when Paris Brown, then just 17 years old, was chosen to be Kent’s youth police crime commissioner, her Twitter account made waves. There was a comment on drugs – “I really wanna make a batch of hash brownies” – sex – “Worst part about being single is coming from a party/night out horny as f*** and having to sleep alone” – and argy-bargy – “I don’t condone violence but im so pleased that my brother thumped the fat little fuck.”
Teenagers, eh. Exposed in the tabloid Press, Paris soon resigned.
And who was outraged and disgusted by Brown’s mere words? Yep, Keith Vaz, who stated:
“Public money should never be given to anyone who refers to violence, sex, drunkenness and other antisocial behaviour in this offensive manner.”
Paris was getting £15,000 a year as the police wonk. Vaz’s public service earns him far more. Although his alleged comments were made in private, via text.
PS: Think of the children. We look to our MPs as role models. If Keith Vaz is being linked to drugs and sex on the clock, won’t kids follow his example? After all, when he saw the computer game Modern Warfare 2, Vaz was “absolutely shocked at the level of violence in this game”. He asked what steps ministers were taking to ensure that violent games did not fall into the hands of children and young people. “It’s not about censorship,” said dad-of-two Keith, “it’s about protecting our children.”
Stay in the bike lane. And stay to the end of this video. It’s not easy.
Amanda Marcotte has a message for Trump supporters. She writes in Salon:
A modest proposal: Trump has it all wrong — to prevent crime, we need to do some “extreme vetting” of men
It’s not all immigrants who need vetting. It’s just the male ones. We should only let the women in. At least that’s what she might be saying:
There are, however, two groups of people who really do commit crime, especially violent crime, at wildly different rates: Men and women.
According to FBI crime statistics, men are arrested for roughly three-quarters of all crimes. When it comes to violent crime, the stats are even worse. Nearly 9 out of 10 people arrested for murder are male. Ninety-nine percent of rape arrestees are men. Men are arrested for 8 out of 10 aggravated assaults.
If Trump is right and the crime rate is serious enough of a problem to compel us to abandon basic human rights so as to subject certain groups of people to monitoring and legal intimidation, then it’s not immigrants we should target. It’s men.
Amanda. Spot on. But the forces of law and order already know it. They watch men far more than they watch women (via):
Rather than stating the bleedin’ obvious and missing the truth of it, Amanda might care to campaign for more female police officers (via):
Female cops accounted for just 3.4 percent of officers involved in the “83 most serious lawsuits” against the LAPD from 1986 to 1990. While the stats suggested that female cops aren’t reluctant to use force, the commission reasoned, they’re not nearly as likely to use excessive force. “With some exceptions, female officers interviewed believed they were more communicative, more skillful at de-escalating potentially violent situations and less confrontational,” the report reads. “A suspect’s defiance and disrespect of an officer often gives rise to use of force by an officer. Many officers, both male and female, believe female officers are less personally challenged by defiant suspects and feel less need to deal with defiance with immediate force or confrontational language.”
Policing remains one of the most male-dominated professions in America: in the 1970s, about 97 percent of American cops were men, and in 2013, that had fallen only to 88 percent, meaning that the police force is even more gender imbalanced than the active-duty military, which was 84.9 percent male as of 2014. And while there are way more men than there are women policing American streets, the gender disparity for police use of force is even greater. Paquette reports that of the 54 officers that have been charged with killing someone with a gun while they were on duty, just two have been female.
And sex crimes?
Deborah Friedl has 30 years with the Lowell Police Department in Massachusetts, and she is now deputy superintendent of police there, the first woman to hold that job. For at least a decade, she and an international cadre of women police leaders, including The National Center for Women and Policing in the U.S. have been promoting research showing that the best way to reduce rates of violence against women, sexual assault, rape, and homicide is to hire more women officers.
Maybe the new arrivals could be encouraged to join the Thin Blue Line?
“Woman breaking wind cuts through sombre silence of Grimsby courtroom” is our local news story of the week.
The Grimsby Telegraph doesn’t say whether Grimsby Magistrates’ Court is famed for its silence, only that during proceedings a woman sat in the public gallery let rip.
Mark Naylor then adds:
One male observer, originally sitting unknowingly next to the culprit on the front row of the public gallery.. hastily moved back a row to provide a bit more distance in the event of a second unexpected event.
He also took cover outside the courtroom door later on during proceedings in a wise pre-emptive bid to avoid being in the firing line in the event of an ear-splitting encore.
He later suffered the indignity of being blamed by others for being the one responsible for the noise in the first place.
Where this man is known to your reporter is unknown, but reputations for chivalry have been built on less.
With the football Transfer Window, Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish assesses the scene in the Times:
There is one price for a club and there is another price for a Premier League club. But it isn’t just the increase in transfer fees we’ve seen. You now have a massive wage escalation, too.
Palace were in for Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere but, reportedly, baulked at paying all of his £90,000-a-week wages. They did, however, spend big, agreeing permanent deals for: Christian Benteke (Liverpool, £32m), Andros Townsend (Newcastle United, £13m), James Tomkins (West Ham United, £10m) and Steve Mandanda (Marseille £1.5m). Palace also took Loic Remy on loan from Chelsea, with an option to buy him for £10.3 million.
Palace pay big fees and big wages. Johan Cabaye, reportedly, signed a £100,000-a-week deal on his move to Selhurst Park. With so much money flying around, it’s odd that Palace didn’t stump up for a rare talent like Wilshere, who would have thrived behind Remy, Benteke and Townsend.
The problem is that we’re paying players amounts of money that only our league can afford. I think to myself: ‘Where are these players going to go?’
Answer: China or, like Bastian Schweinsteiger, who refused to leave Manchester United, nowhere.
Most Premier League players will be earning £25,000-£30,000 per week. And that is just your entry level for a good solid pro, so if your top, top wage in the Championship — apart from the parachute clubs — is around £10,000, where do they go? There is no European market. That is the problem.
Isn’t the problem with the clubs who offer these wages?
We don’t get value for money, really. You have to buy assets that you can recycle. A club like us, you have to accept that you need to create assets and you have to reinvent, as Southampton have done brilliantly over the past three or four years.
Dan Jones, who works at Deloitte, adds a few words:
If you look around Europe, you will see Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and Bayern Munich making big-money signings. But you won’t see that from the mid-table clubs and those involved in relegation battles because they don’t have the money and that is because the TV deals in those countries aren’t as big and aren’t shared equally.
England has the most equal model about how they distribute that money. That means if you are a mid-ranking Premier League club you can compete with all but the biggest clubs in Europe, so it puts you in a pretty strong position.
Precisely. The money goes up when a Premier League club calls because the PL has the most cash. But the team has to woo the player with wages. Do they have to be bigger? Why do they want more?
Geraint Anderson, 38, who was earning a base salary of £120,000 and a bonus of £500,000 by the time he left investment banking after 12 years in the City, took a view:
“It’s like a gilded cage. They earn huge amounts but they have the massive mortgage, they have the high-maintenance trophy wife, they have the kids at Harrow – then they wake up on their 50th birthday and think, ‘What a waste of a life.’ They get into this culture where their worth is valued by how much they earn, so they work ridiculous hours. I’d rather earn £25,000, have the kids at a local school and not owe anyone anything.”
Can we blame the clubs for fomenting the money game?
Is this Tom Baker talking in an outtake for an advert he was recording? YouTuber campfreddie thinks it might be:
Tom Baker is over here.
Gerkary Bracho has a very long tongue. Or maybe she has an average-sized tongue in a very small head?